Definition of enema in English:


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nounplural noun enemas

  • A procedure in which liquid or gas is injected into the rectum, typically to expel its contents, but also to introduce drugs or permit X-ray imaging.

    ‘A barium enema is a procedure, done through a special x-ray, for examining the large bowel.’
    • ‘No further deaths have been reported after procedures requiring barium enemas.’
    • ‘Barium enema, like colonoscopy, examines the whole colon and rectum, and, although it is cheaper and has a lower complication rate than colonoscopy, it is invasive and requires full bowel preparation.’
    • ‘The pouches may be noticed during a barium enema, when a liquid is inserted into the intestine through the anus and an X-ray of the abdomen is taken.’
    • ‘Before some types of X-rays, such as a barium enema, you're given a liquid called contrast medium, or a dye.’
    • ‘After a course of antibiotics I was to undergo a barium enema to check this diagnosis.’
    • ‘During a barium enema, a liquid mixture containing barium is given through a catheter tube into the child's rectum, and special X-rays are taken.’
    • ‘Other tests include stool testing and X-rays of the bowel, taken after a barium enema.’
    • ‘Colonoscopy is preferable to a barium enema because it allows for the biopsy and removal of lesions.’
    • ‘For this test, you are given an enema with a liquid that makes your colon show up on an x-ray.’
    • ‘A barium enema was performed preoperatively to define the anatomy of the duplicated colon, and it showed complete colonic duplication.’
    laxative, enema, aperient, lenitive, cathartic, evacuant



/ˈenəmə/ /ˈɛnəmə/


Late Middle English via late Latin from Greek, from enienai ‘send or put in’, from en- ‘in’ + hienai ‘send’.